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child, May, into the life she had created about the easy-chair
and the footstool of her father. The child was taught to tip-
toe to the General and curtsy, and say in a small voice, " I
hope you are feeling better, Grandfather/' and *' I love you,
Grandfather," and, " Here is a rose I plucked for you, Grand-
father."

General Burnham was killed in an election-day quarrel on
the streets of Bardsville. Although he had almost ceased to
have any meaning for the community, the dramatic circum-
stances of his death revived for a moment his vanished
importance. His funeral was a public occasion. The pall-
bearers were, like the deceased, veterans of the war, and a
Confederate flag covered the coffin. A volley was fired over
the grave. While the echoes yet rang in the frosty air, Lucy
Burnham, in a frenzy of grief, tore herself from the support-
ing arms of her friends, and was scarcely prevented from"
flinging herself into the grave. Percy Munn, then a boy just
entering adolescence, heard the wild, pure cry wrung from her
heart and saw her drunken lurching toward the open grave.
He was to remember the moment, and much later was to try,
puzzledly, to correlate its passion with the cold, trivial,
foolish, and futile woman whom he grew to know. That day
he also saw a motionless, thin little girl, some six or seven
years old, whose face appeared to be moulded of a scarcely
tinted wax, and who stood near the grave but seemed to be
aware of nothing around her. That was his first sight of
May.

When Miss Burnham recovered from the stupefying effects
of her grief, she turned herself, grudgingly and almost resent-
fully at first, to the care of her little niece. But the child was
so gentle and tractable and affectionate that, more and more,
she gave herself without reservations to her. One bright
morning in early spring, a clear day that seemed in its soft-
ness of air and penetrating brilliance to promise, almost
prematurely, the new season, she sat by an open window and
brushed the child's yellow hair. Even though a fire smoul-
dered in the grate, the window was up, for the first time that

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